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Julie Hedrick: Alchemy
November 18, 2014Free
Nohra Haime Gallery welcome’s Julie Hedrick’s newest series: Alchemy. Through a selection of works on paper and oils on canvas, Hedrick meditates about concepts related to alchemy and its relation to gold. From its beginnings, alchemy’s final and absolute objective was transmutation, and specifically, transmutation of any material into gold, also connected to the accomplishment of persona illumination. The search of the philosopher’s stone as an elixir of life was directly related to this phenomenon.
Gold progressively takes the surfaces of the works shown in this exhibition. Alchemist Twins, 2014 refers to Egyptian alchemy, in which one of the first steps to illumination consisted in the acknowledgement of the “ka”, the etheric twin that coexists with our physical self. The icons are bordered by a fine line of gold, and in the center of one of them, a strong golden stroke marks the triumph of the transformation into the noble metal, or the achievement of personal enlightenment. As we contemplate the rest of the paintings, we see a black mass, then a white one, all interrupted by the golden edge that delimits space or void. The conversion is starting, and as we observe the paintings, we witness its progress. The ordinary material is transformed into a golden cloak that covers and lights the surface.
In Infinity, 2014 we see a duality symbolizing light and darkness, a monochrome surface again bordered by a golden edge. Black is the first color in the Magnus Opum, the process of creation of the Philosopher’s Stone that provides immortality, or infinite enlightenment. It is the chaos, the nigredo that precedes the albedo, the whitening of matter, a purification stage that leads to the unity of opposites.
This pursuance of gold also symbolizes a higher order of achievements, a mental illumination and a spiritual revelation, that connect to Hedrick’s works in their very beginning. Her blurry hues that swirl to the top of the painting, present as well in the Egyptian diptych, seem to establish a microcosm of order and sensibility epitomizing what is above us.
Julie Hedrick has exhibited extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Colombia. She has also participated to great acclaim in performances, poetry readings, set designs and discussion panels. Born in 1958 in Toronto, Canada, Hedrick currently lives and works in Kingston, New York. She is a Graduate of the Painting Studio Program, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, (NSCAD). She also studied anatomy and physiology. Since 1990 Hedrick not only has been painting but also writing poetry.